June 20, 2024

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera has launched the digital distribution of rice program interventions in Apayao and Kalinga.

The DA-Cordillera distributed intervention monitoring cards (IMC) to over 1,000 rice farmers in the two provinces recently.

The IMC is equivalent to a cash card and an identification card for farmers. It forms part of the digitized process of distributing interventions to rice farmers.

DA-Cordillera Agriculturist Miriam Pastor said the IMC serves as an e-wallet where farmers are given the right to choose what seeds, fertilizers, and soil ameliorants are suitable for their farms.

Direct na ang farmer ti agpili iti kayat na nga variety, kayat na nga biofertilizer, kayat na nga fertilizer, kayat na nga soil ameliorant idiay accredited merchants ti DA,” she said.

The subsidy will be given to farmers through the IMC. Once the farmer claimed the intervention, the DA will pay the amount through e-banking, in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines and Universal Storefront Services Corporation, Pastor said.

The system ensures every transaction is recorded, with every peso accounted for while warranting proof of development reaching farmers. The system has real-time payouts and has 24/7 information technology support.

It eliminates redundant paper works, giving DA more time to provide technical support to the farmers.

The IMC contains basic information such as the beneficiaries’ name, photo, QR code, Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) number, and e-wallet card.

Hence, it is expected to enhance the DA’s distribution process while ensuring no leakages.

The DA-Cordillera also continues to encourage farmers to cluster or organize themselves into a group doing similar business-type activities.

Pastor said they target rice clusters where they can inject interventions to have the optimum returns for the production of rice in the region.

“We have to empower these clusters to engage into business. We are encouraging clusters to go into entrepreneurship para isuda ti agbalin nga merchant tayo on the ground. Sila na rin ang magbebenta ng seeds and fertilizers sa kanilang miyembro.” 

Pastor also encouraged farmers to register with the RSBSA, a registry of farmers, fisherfolk, and farm laborers that serves as a targeting mechanism for the identification of beneficiaries for different agriculture-related programs and services of the government.

Pastor is optimistic on the continuous successful implementation of the IMC or the digitalized mode of distribution of interventions to rice farmers. – Debbie E. Gasingan